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Latest estimate of the cost of UK Identity Cards Scheme are revealed

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The Home Office report on the likely costs of the UK Identity Cards Scheme, issued on Thursday 10 May, reveals continuing problems with its ability to provide Parliament with timely and accurate estimates of the likely costs of the Scheme.

In the report, it admits to having previously underestimated staffing costs of £460 million over ten years, while also having erroneously included costs of £510 million that should have been incurred by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

More worryingly, since the last cost report was issued the Identity and Passport Service has announced a radical redesign of the Scheme to reduce its risks and costs, but this redesign (which involves reusing existing Government investment in IT and dropping the use of IRIS scanning in the Scheme) appears to have had no noticeable effect on the overall costs of the Scheme.

Dr Edgar Whitley for the LSE Identity Project said: 'Despite the Home Office's best efforts to cut costs of the Scheme, the costs are still increasing. It is vital that Parliament uses the section 37 reports as they were originally intended, and undertakes an urgent, independent review of the progress with the Scheme at this time.'

Click here for a more detailed response to the report the LSE Identity Project|.

For LSE research and reports on identity policy please see http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk| 

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Press cuttings

Computing
ID cards deals primed to start (23 May)
The London School of Economics is calling for an independent review of the scheme, following publication by the IPS last week of cost estimates more than £400m higher than previous predictions.
http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2190552/id-cards-deals-primed-start| 

Guardian
Kill ID cards before they kill your government, Mr Brown (17 May)
'If [the government] keep this up, the scheme will end up costing far more than even the LSE estimate.' The LSE estimate was produced in mid-2005 by 14 authors at the London School of Economics, including Simon Davies, a lecturer who is also a strong privacy advocate. They estimated that ID cards and their associated paraphernalia would cost between £10.9bn and £19bn. Charles Clarke, then in charge of the Home Office, went on the offensive, in both senses. 

Public Technology Net
ID cards: LSE responds to Home Office on latest cost revelations (17 May)
The London School of Economics and Political Science has responded to the Home Office report on the likely costs of the UK Identity Cards Scheme, issued on Thursday 10 May, which reveals continuing problems with its ability to provide Parliament with timely and accurate estimates of the likely costs of the Scheme.
http://www.publictechnology.net/modules.php?op=
modload&name=News&file=article&sid=9280 

Silicon.com
ID cards scheme 'getting out of control' (16 May)
The UK's identity cards scheme appears 'out of control', according to a group of researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE), who are calling for an independent review of the project's figures. 

The Register
MPs must act on runaway ID project (16 May)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/16/runaway_identity_costs/| 

ID scheme not failing, just shifting (16 May)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/16/ips_lse_response07/| 

Today, BBC Radio 4 (11 May 07)
Professor Patrick Dunleavy, professor of political science and public policy at LSE, appeared on the programme this morning at 8.32am, discussing the rising costs for proposed ID cards.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/| 

Financial Times
Ministers accused as ID costs surge
(11 May 07)
Ministers were accused of burying bad news and breaking the law yesterday after the Home Office belatedly published figures showing the estimated cost of the identity cards programme rising by up to £800m. According to Dr Edgar Whitley, of the LSE Identity Project, the report raised the issue of credibility about the Home Office's whole reform programme and its ability to keep within projected budgets: 'Despite the Home Office's best effort to cut the costs of the scheme, the costs are still increasing.' 

Daily Express
Reid's £105 ID card trick (11 May 07)
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/6688| 

Bloomberg
Cost of UK identity card project rises by £400 million
(10 May 07)
In 2005, the London School of Economics put the cost at between 10.6 billion pounds and 19.3 billion pounds. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aEDwOtG20ki0&refer=uk| 

Evening Standard
Ministers try to hide £500m rise in ID cards (10 May 07)
Shadow home secretary David Davis said: 'The public will see through this transparent and pathetic attempt to bury bad news. It is also no surprise the Government has had to revise their cost estimate up by so much in less than a year and undermines their criticism of the independent London School of Economics cost estimate of up to £20bn.'
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23395761-details/|
Ministers+try+to+hide+%C2%A3500m+rise+in+ID+cards/article.do| 

Daily Mail
Ministers try to hide £500m rise in ID cards (10 May 07)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/|
news.html?in_article_id=453866&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490| 

Kable
IPS adds £400m to ID price tag (10 May 07)
http://www.kablenet.com/kd.nsf/Frontpage/|
370FF24832F4DF8E802572D70045B095?OpenDocument| 

11 May 2007 [updated 15 May 2007]

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